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Stone Soup

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,292 Ratings  ·  355 Reviews
Award-winning artist Jon J Muth retells the favorite tale of a selfish community who is tricked into creating a delicious soup from stones. Set in China in Muth's hauntingly beautiful watercolors.

Three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village. Embittered and suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows tight. That is, unti
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by Scholastic Press
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
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Jan 09, 2009 Brad rated it it was amazing
Of all the books I read my kids Jon J. Muth's Stone Soup is far and away my favourite.

Not only is it a beautiful retelling of a classic tale, it is the finest telling of the tale I have ever seen. Muth's watercolours are exquisite: sparing, richly detailed, perfectly moody and expressive.

And his choice of setting is sublime. Muth sets his version in a small walled village at the base of a mountain in China. Three monks come to the town one morning and start making stone soup, drawing the village
Apr 30, 2014 Stacy rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
After experiencing Muth's Stone Soup as a read-aloud, kindergarten students had the following conversation:

Student 1: "I noticed, this book didn't win an award."
Student 2: "It should have."
Student 3: "Let's give it an award."

Student carefully cut out his own version of the Caldecott award and taped it to the cover.

Student 4: "Now everyone who reads it will know that it won an award."
Angela Bailey
Oct 13, 2013 Angela Bailey rated it really liked it
Title / Author / Publication Date:
Stone Soup. / Jon Muth. / 2003.

Genre: Fiction - Folktales.

Format: Picturebook - print.

Plot summary:
"Three wise monks trick a poor, frightened community into finding happiness by teaching them the magic of generosity" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
generosity, selfishness

Review citation:
"Muth has taken this old tale and transplanted it from its traditional European setting to China. The tricksters are no longer hungry travelers or
“Stone Soup” is a very old folktale with variations and retellings set in countries around the world, in various historical periods, and featuring different characters. Most versions feature hungry strangers who persuade locals to share their resources, and often there is a lesson of cooperation and generosity, even in times of hardship and scarcity.

In my preschool classroom (of 3 to 5 year olds), we spent several weeks investigating a series of illustrated children's books based on this folkta
Stephanie Cahill
Mar 27, 2016 Stephanie Cahill rated it really liked it
The story, Stone Soup, takes place in ancient China. The story starts off with three monks climbing a mountain and discussing what happiness is. When they reach the top of the mountain they see the top of a small village. The three monks go to this village but no one is in sight. They had all locked their doors and shut their windows. They did this because the villagers are weary of strangers. The village has been starved and strained. All of the villagers were trying to protect their resources. ...more
Edwin Reyes
Mar 27, 2016 Edwin Reyes rated it really liked it
The book Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth is about three monks who come across a village. The village has grown accustomed to not being comfortable with strangers or new people to the village ever since the war. The village is protected by a wall and a gate . When these three monks cross by the village they noticed the gate was open, but when they walked through the village, no one was to be seen. All of the doors were shut and all of the windows were closed. Then the monks came across a little girl wi ...more
Mar 27, 2016 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great! The illustrations had a spiritual feel throughout the book. The story line flowed beautifully with a clear message that most children could understand on their own.

The story tell a tale about three monks who are in search of what makes people happy. They come across a town where no one seems friendly because they turn off their lights and lock the doors. The monks talked with each other about making stone soup and little girl walks by and is interested about makin
Alisia Matias
Mar 26, 2016 Alisia Matias rated it really liked it
In this retelling of a folktale, Stone Soup, children follow the short journey of three monks traveling through a mountain and contemplating happiness. They come across a village where the villagers are cold towards outsiders and to each other – none of them want anything to do with the monks and do their best to avoid them when they arrive. The monks take it upon themselves to show what happiness is to the people of the village, and how to achieve it by making stone soup. They allow the village ...more
Melissa Overland-mckay
Mar 24, 2016 Melissa Overland-mckay rated it really liked it
3 monks; Hok, Lok, and Slowe travel through the mountains of China, finding a distraught village and make themselves known. Hok, Lok and Slowe work together to make their favorite delicious stone soup and in the process the village comes together to enhance the soup. At first the monks come into the village alone with no help and no acknowledgment from the villagers. But it only takes the curiosity of a young girl for the other villagers to realize the kindness of these monks and the enlightenme ...more
Jeanene DeFine
Mar 24, 2016 Jeanene DeFine rated it really liked it
Stone Soup is a traditional story involving a town who has gone through some hardships. The towns people don't live as a community anymore and doesn't interact with each other. The town is soon visited by three monks who feel they need to bring happiness back to the towns people. They decide to introduce them to their stone soup. They begin to brew their stone soup and towns people come out of their homes to see what the monks are doing. The story evolves into a lesson of community and friendshi ...more
Courtney Spicer
Mar 22, 2016 Courtney Spicer rated it it was amazing
Muth, J., (2003). Stone Soup. New York: Scholastic Press
Stone Soup is the story of 3 brothers who are monks and have been traveling. They are weary, and questioning things such as what makes someone happy. They come to a village, where the villagers seem angry and do not communicate well with each other. They are shut up in their houses and will not help the monks find a place to rest. The monk brothers decide to make a pot of stone soup, as they are hungry, and a little girl watches. She is cur
Apr 02, 2014 Alyssa rated it really liked it
In this version of the story travelers convince skeptical town of people into providing the ingredients for a wonderful soup by telling them it is made from stones. While individuals may have only contributed one ingredient, when the soup is complete it is a wonderful combination of many ingredients.

This folk tale has been told from many cultural perspectives, set in a time of despair or famine, yet a wonderful soup is created in each version as ingredients are added one by one. The message shin
Feb 01, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book, but I'm not sure that my niece did. She struggled a lot with figuring out why anyone would want to eat soup made with stones, so I'd have to say that the larger point presented in this great story was lost on her. We may try this one again when she's a little older.
Lori Bacskay
Mar 24, 2016 Lori Bacskay rated it it was amazing
This retelling version of Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth was very good. I enjoyed the story so much I read another version but still liked this one better. The illustrations were soft, soothing, and magical. A delightful story with real meaning. The story is told in many cultures and this particular one is retold in Asian culture. Starts with three monks walking the road from the mountains and see a village below. They come to the village but the villagers are unfriendly and will not offer food or be ...more
Amy Werdenberg
Mar 27, 2016 Amy Werdenberg rated it it was amazing
Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth is a beautifully written and illustrated version of the traditional folktale. Three monks arrive in a rural mountain village and receive no welcome- hard times have made the villagers distrustful of each other. The monks decide to teach them about community and happiness so they begin to make soup from stones. Curiosity is aroused and folks begin to bring ingredients to contribute to the soup.
This version of the folktale is set in Asia and the watercolor illustrations f
ElliottDietrich Mattison
Mar 21, 2008 ElliottDietrich Mattison rated it it was amazing
The best retelling of this classic story that we've seen. Reading the insights on the back page really bring what the author is doing to life.
Reuben Andrade
Mar 28, 2016 Reuben Andrade rated it liked it
Stone Soup is about 3 monks that enter a village seeking shelter and food. Unfortunately, the villagers are scared of them and hide all of the food and did not provide shelter. Because of this, the 3 monks must make "stone soup."

The theme of the story is to teach readers that it is important to come together and help each other out. Also, it is important to not "judge a book by its cover." Although the monks were strangers, it did not necessarily mean that they were bad people. The story also ha
Michelle Doerr
Mar 10, 2012 Michelle Doerr rated it it was amazing
Stone Soup is a great story to discuss lessons about sharing, friendship, and happiness. I gave this book 5 stars because I like the themes discussed and I think Ruth did a great job using illustrations to help enhance the meaning. This is a folklore book intended for primary readers. It is the story of 3 monks who wandered into an isolated, unfriendly village. Due to past hardships, the villagers were greedy and did not share anything. By making soup with no ingredients to begin with, the contr ...more
Molly Medaille
Mar 29, 2016 Molly Medaille rated it it was amazing
I love the book Stone Soup. The story is so heartwarming and lovely to read. It really focuses on aspects of community and happiness. The text is very easy to read and understand which makes it an excellent children's book. The illustrations in this version were also very beautiful. The pictures reminded me of watercolor paintings; they were very delicate yet detailed. I highly recommend this story.
Julie Suzanne
By far my favorite version of this timeless tale. We especially loved the water color, the Buddhist spin, and how the author/illustrator? taught us at the end how to study the illustrations in this and consequently any book for deeper meaning by introducing a few common symbols utilized for this piece. We went back and "read" the pictures again afterward. Morgan was delighted to learn that he had already noticed several details that I hadn't (he always does--that eye for visual detail); he learn ...more
Nov 28, 2015 Diana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
A fantastic book about getting people who mistrust each other to form a community.....and the art is fantastic!
Oct 16, 2009 Miranda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional-lit
The classic folk story about creating something from nothing and learning to give in the process retains its important message even in a new setting. Muth sets his version of the story in a secluded Chinese village. The muted illustrations perfectly convey the idea of a time long ago in a place far away--perhaps not fully real, but real enough to every reader who picks up the book. Muth notes at the end that there are many symbolic elements of Chinese culture throughout his text and illustration ...more
Jun 20, 2016 Martin added it
Title: Stone Soup
Author: Jon Muth
Genre: Non-European Folktale
Theme(s): Sharing, happiness
Opening line/sentence:
Three monks, Hok, Lok, and Siew, traveled along a mountain road.
Brief Book Summary:
Three monks travel into a town, but no one invites them as their guests. The monks decide to make stone soup in the middle of the town. The townspeople become curious and end up contributing to the soup and have a huge feast. They all realize how much sharing can help.
Professional Recommenda
May 29, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Stone soup is like a folktale passed down from generation to generation in an attempt to teach children that they should share and work together in order to achieve great things such as happiness, comradery, and efficiency. The setting of the story occurs in a variety of places Stone Soup starts out as a few monks climbing a mountain and ends in a nearby village. The main characters are the three monks who are trying to find the meaning of happiness. In that, the monks stumble upon a town where ...more
Eliana Falls
May 29, 2016 Eliana Falls rated it it was amazing
Stone soup is a very old story about three monks, Hok, Lok, and Siew. They travel around trying to find the meaning of happiness. Their journey takes them in to a village where they are greeted with hostility and mistrust. Eventually a little girl takes interest in their Stone Soup making and helps the monks by bringing a big pot from her aunt’s house. This small action unfolds a series of events in which one by one the villagers start to contribute to the big pot of soup. They all add different ...more
May 29, 2016 Katherine added it
Shelves: rdg-291
Stone Soup is the story of 3 monks, who are traveling through the mountains. They come across a village, but cannot find any villagers. They correctly assume that the villagers are isolating themselves and plan to make stone soup in the village square in order to encourage the villagers to come out and interact with each other. Their plan works; all the villagers come to help and bring food of all kinds to add to the soup. At the end of the night, they all eat together and are reminded of where ...more
Francilia Ortega
May 28, 2016 Francilia Ortega rated it liked it
Muth.John,J.(2003).Scholastic Press

Stone Soup is a folktale that has many verisions throughout different countries by Jon Muth.The story takes place in china and has a great deal of beautiful artwork from the scenic mountains to what looks to be the great wall of china.

In the plot, in which three monks Hok,Lok, and Siew go on a journey to try and understand what makes one happy. As they proceed to go and venture through the village they find that villagers aren’t welcoming and feel frightened by
Calley Martin
May 28, 2016 Calley Martin rated it it was amazing
Stone Soup, the popular folktale about motivation, teamwork, and collaboration, has been told for many years in all parts of the world. Folktales are traditional tales of imaginary events, and the plots often revolve around trickery. In this version of Stone Soup, Chinese Folklore is used in which three Buddhist monks, Hok, Lok and Siew, tried to convince the villagers how better it is to be friendly and open to each other using a cooperative picnic.
As is the case for many folktales, the story
Kelsey Eide
May 28, 2016 Kelsey Eide rated it it was amazing
Stone Soup starts out with three monks traveling in the mountains. One monk is very young, the next is middle-aged, and the third is quite old. They come to a town that is worn down from war and natural disasters. The townspeople are wary of outsiders and lock their doors on the three monks. The monks decide to help bring the town together so they make stone soup. In the town, individuals become curious and come over to see what the monks are doing. Individual townspeople start to open their pan ...more
Sharnea Felix-Martinez
May 26, 2016 Sharnea Felix-Martinez rated it really liked it
Stone Soup was an amazing short story that gave insight to not only a different part of the world, but to a different idea of what makes someone happy. Based around three traveling monks, they are brought to a village full of unhappy people. Seeking to teach a lesson on happiness, they start to create stone soup, using what little they have. Stirring curiosity and anticipation, the villagers eventually start taking part in making the feast, with everyone finally enjoying an amazing meal and dece ...more
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Jon J. Muth is an American comic artist. His works include J. M. DeMatteis' graphic novel Moonshadow, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: The Wake (along with Michael Zulli, Charles Vess), Mike Cary's Lucifer: Nirvana and Swamp Thing: Roots. Muth has gone on to an award-winning career as a children's book writer and illustrator. He received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators for his illustration ...more
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